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Capital and largest city of the Bahamas, Nassau draws tourists with its wealth of commercial and cultural activities. Located on New Providence Island, Nassau was founded by the British in the 1600s and became a popular pirate hideout during the 1700s. This storied history, along with its bustling city vibe, makes Nassau one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Bahamas.  
Credit: Mini D/Flickr 
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Each December and January Bahamian locals celebrate through music with Junkanoo, an energetic and colorful parade through the streets of Nassau, as well as other Bahamas islands and in Florida. Reminiscent of Mardi Gras or Rio's Carnival, Junkanoo is an ideal time to experience the culture, art, and rhythmic sounds of the region.  
Credit: Junkanoo 
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Many consider Harbor Island as having the best beaches in the Bahamas. The island's unique sand consists of pieces of coral, shells, minute rocks, calcium carbonate, and tiny microscopic shelled animals called foraminifera that create the pink hue.  
Credit: Grant Faint/Photographer's Choice 
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Grand Bahama is the closest major island to the U.S., just 56 miles off the coast of Florida. The island boasts three national parks—two of which are accessible by land—not to mention a number of mega resorts and a duty-free shopping zone.  
Credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism 
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Over 300 miles from Miami, Cat Island is one of the most beautiful and fertile islands in the Bahamas, and boasts the highest point in the nation with 206-foot Mount Alvernia. At its summit lies the Hermitage, a monastery built by Father Jerome, an architect and priest who came to the area to build and repair religious structures.  
Credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism 
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Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island contains one of the world's longest underwater cave systems. The 40-acre park is the only location where visitors can see all six of the island's ecosystems in one area.  
Credit: cvconnell/Flickr 
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In the early 1900s, the Bahamas' New Providence Island settlers used the island off their northeast coast as a pig farm, nicknaming it Hog Island. The name stuck until the 1950s, when the 826-acre island received its first casino license, and a bridge was built connecting it to Nassau. The one-time pig farm quickly transformed into a world-class tourist resort called Paradise Island.  
Credit: Corel 
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The Bahamas' Exumas is a largely uninhabited, 120-mile-long archipelago that stretches from Nassau to the Tropic of Cancer. The adventurous tourist can skim across miles of calm, 88-degree, fish-filled waters, miniscule cays populated with white-tailed tropic birds, and past the ruins of British loyalist plantations.  
Credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism 
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The 700 islands and cays of the Bahamas span over 100,000 square miles and are made entirely of calcium carbonate, produced by the organisms of coral reefs.  
Credit: Photodisc 
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An outstanding spot to snorkel or dive, the Bahamas claims a section of the world's third-longest barrier reef and crystal-clear waters with visibility over 200 feet, some of the clearest in the world.  
Credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism 
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Though equally as picturesque as the other islands, Chub Cay has received worldwide praise for other reasons than its beaches. As one of the top fishing destinations in the world, the island's surrounding waters offer an ideal locale for both deep-sea and flats fishing.  
Credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism 
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Nearby Chub Cay is the 4,000-foot Chub Cay Wall, a favorite among divers, as schools of fish congregate and are easily seen through the crystal-clear waters.  
Credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism 
 

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